Carnelian Gua Sha: 9 Interesting Reasons to Consider

carnelian gua sha

What is carnelian gua sha, and how can it be helpful to release facial tension, increase circulation and reduce the appearance of wrinkles? Read on to learn more about this simple tool often found at the spa or acupuncture office.

I first came across this tool known as gua sha when I was having lower back muscle achiness. While the tool wasn’t able to help the deep muscle pain, I did find it helpful for releasing the muscle facia and relaxing other more superficial (closer to the skin) muscles. Plus, the stone feels soothing because it is so cold.

9 Reasons Why You May Want to Try a Carnelian Gua Sha

First, let’s learn about gua sha and then read further to learn about some of the most compelling reasons to try it out.

What is Gua Sha?

Gua sha is a tool typically used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The idea behind the treatment is that by scraping and massaging an area, the face for example, the muscles are eased and oxygenated and toxins are released.

Does the stone matter?

Carnelian is a type of stone that is used. Many other types of stones are used including jade, metal, lapis, quartz. Any stone that is polished smooth and cut in the correct way can be used.

Some proponents believe that the actual stone has special properties that can be used in healing. Those who do say that carnelian promotes vitality and motivation. However, who is to say that you can’t already foster a mindset for these qualities? Here is the carnelian red agate gua sha tool if you’re curious.

I personally find benefit with the gentle use of the stone only and do not adhere to a certain type of stone being used, such as the carnelian gua sha tool.

9 Interesting Points about Gua Sha

While some news sources say that gua sha has not proven itself to be helpful, I did run across a handful of research studies with hopeful findings.

(1.) One study found that gua sha helped musculoskeletal pain, but in review of the study, found that the study quality was possible poor. (1)

(2.) Another study found that the practice of gua sha helped especially women increase circulation on the surface of the skin with pain reducing benefits. (2)

(3) Gua sha has been found to increase the surface temperature of the skin;

(4) Increase circulation and energy metabolism

(5) Reduce muscle injury (4)

(6) Facilitate weightlifting ability (4)

(7) Help promote lymphatic draining (5)

(8) Reduce puffiness in areas such the face (5)

(9) Reduce migraine pain


Can gua sha help you in some way? Possibly. I think it depends what your expectations are and how you use it.

I think it would be amazing as a facial tool to help gently massage out tense areas.

Gua sha can be a tool that seems to be overall helpful, though I did run across a few concerning pictures where people had raw and chaffed skin after receiving it. I’m pretty sure you can gently use gua sha on yourself or find a reputable acupuncturist’s office to administer gua sha in a helpful way.

Overall, it’s another tool to explore for yourself. Here’s hoping you find what motivates for success in healing.

Have you used gua sha? What has your experience been like with it?

(1) Myeong Soo Lee, et. al. Using Guasha to treat musculoskeletal pain: A systematic review of controlled clinical trials. Chinese Medicine. 2010.

(2) Arya Nielson, et. al. The effect of Gua Sha treatment on the microcirculation of surface tissue: a pilot study in healthy subjects. Explore NY. 2007 Sep-Oct;3(5):456-66. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2007.06.001.

(4) Xingze Wang, et. al. Effects of Gua Sha therapy on weightlifting training: a randomized trial. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2019 Aug;39(4):575-581.

(5) Quinn, Delaney. How to Use Gua Sha for Tension, Puffiness, and Lymphatic Drainage. Healthline dot com. Peer reviewed by Cynthia Cobb in 2021.

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